The Season of Giving

Christmas is just around the corner! (Excuse me while I jump around and cheer for a few minutes!)

Okay. I’m back.

It’s no great revelation for me to point out that December can be an incredibly expensive month. It’s especially so for me since it’s also my birthday month *more cheering* as well as my partner’s birthday, and our anniversary. That’s a lot of presents, yo.

Yes, this is a picture from a colouring website. Wanna make something of it?

On top of that, there’s that spirit of generosity that seems to appear with the flip of the calendar page. There’s that combination of a desire to help mixed with the pressure to help everyone. And there are many, many places in need of help:

  • There’s the workplace United Way Campaign.
  • There’s the Sally Ann bell-ringers.
  • There’s someone’s son’s hockey team fundraiser.
  • There’s someone’s daughter’s hockey team fundraiser.
  • There’s the cat rescue, the dog rescue, the provincial shelter, and a save-the-whales campaign.
  • There’s soup kitchens and community food cupboards.
  • The list goes on and on and on and on.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy to see so many people increasing their efforts to give back during the holidays. What I struggle with is how to help everyone, which we all know is just not possible.

My solution this year has been to select 3 places to give: one financial donation, one donation of an item, and one donation of my time. I’m only limiting myself in terms of commitment. If I feel compelled and able to give more, I will. It’s just that having the decision clearly outlined makes it easier on my conscience to say “no” when presented with more opportunities than I can handle.

If you’re curious, my choices were to give to the United Way through work, to purchase a gift for the Salvation Army Angel Tree program, and to volunteer my time at a showing of Symphony Nova Scotia’s The Nutcracker (which, incidentally, is my former employer and so I have the added bonus of working with friends and watching the show).

Don’t mess with the nutcracker.

If you’re in a position to give this December, please do so but don’t feel pressured. No one can handle all the requests that pile up this time of year. It behooves us all to remember that many of these people and organizations need support the rest of the year as well. A donation between January and November is likely just as appreciated!

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